Sunday 4 March 2007

Friday 2 March 2007

Thursday 1 March 2007

Cracks, pots and more

An old Chinese saying brings us the story of a woman who had two pots she used for carrying water from the fountain. One of them was new and shiny the other one was cracked. Every morning she used to put the pots on the two ends of a stick, she raised the stick on her shoulder and went to the fountain.

At the fountain she filled the pots equally and headed back home, but the cracked pot couldn't hold its water so by the time she arrived home it was only half full of water. Days were rushing by, but she never stopped to use the cracked pot, even if it kept only half the amount of water.

One day, at the fountain, the cracked pot couldn't bare its shame any more and said:
"I am so ashamed, but because of this crack I loose water all the way till home. I am not useful anymore, I am sorry."

The woman just smiled:
"Did you noticed that on _Your_ part of the road flowers grow? I noticed your crack so i planted flowers on that part of the road, so each day while going home we water those flowers so they grow in beautiful colors. And all because of you, because you have that crack our house is full of flowers and beauty. "

Wednesday 28 February 2007

Instant GNU/Linux time machine

Useful article from FSM, written by Anthony Taylor, on directions and tips of the earliest days of GNU/Linux.
"You never forget your first.

Whether it's your first car, or your first significant other, or your first day of college, they say you never forget your first. That's not always true, of course, but I do remember my first: Softlanding Linux Systems, one of the earliest GNU/Linux distributions, and progenitor of the Slackware distribution. It came on a few dozen floppy images, and took forever to install.

Jump into the Astonishing GNU/Linux Time Machine, and via the magic of qemu and iBiblio, you too can experience the earliest days of GNU/Linux. It'll only take an hour. I'll have you back by supper."

The rest follows @ the link above.

Sunday 25 February 2007

Open Access and Scientific information in the digital age

The recent conference "Scientific information in the digital age: Ensuring current and future access for research and innovation" hosted by the European Commission on 15-16 February 2007 in Brussels
(press release)

It has been an important milestone in the policy debate on the scientific information system.

See the joint Communication on "Scientific information in the digital age: access, dissemination and preservation " , presented by J.Potočnik, Commissioner for Science and Research, and V. Reding, Commissioner for Information society and media, and adopted in February

This Communication offers an entry point for discussion within the Council of Ministers, at the Member State level, and within funding bodies and intergovernmental research organisations. Issues to be addressed include dissemination and access strategies (e.g. Open Access), publishing business models (e.g. reader-pay, author-pay), and the relation between scientific publication and research excellence.

In such conference have been presented to Jan Potocnik more than 20.000 subscriptions to petition on OA: citizens from across Europe and around the world have signed the petition.

Furthermore has been stablished the EUA European University Association Working Group on Open Access.

On contrary front some Publishers (35) have presented a declaration against Open Access noted as Bruxelles Declaration on STM Publishing and dated 14 February 2007.

Saturday 3 February 2007

OpenSDE Handbook

The OpenSDE Handbook is now located a and will be kept up to date with rsync. It is still very much under development, but at least it is there. Take a look.

The usage might change a bit or a lot.

Wednesday 31 January 2007


Oracle Unbreakable Linux is a support program that provides enterprises with industry-leading global support for Linux. For less than half the cost, Oracle's Basic Support is equivalent to Red Hat's best service level. And Oracle's Premier Support provides the same level of enterprise-class support that Oracle provides for its database product.

Oracle site

Monday 29 January 2007

Chinas' own computer? What's next?

It seems that after several Linux distributions (Red Flag, OpenRays) the Chinese made another step on the road to build their own computer.
China's own computer, interesting thought. Let's make acquaintance with the hardware that can make this happen.
It is known under different names, Godson, Loongson, DragonChip. The first incarnation of it took place in 2002, designed and produced by CAS. At just 266MHz it was not an impressive achievement maybe, but it seems that the Moore law do not apply to the Chinese microprocessor industry. On average the power of the Chinese chip doubles every year, which is roughly four times of what Moore's law predicted. From Godson 1 to Godson 2B, the capability of the chip has tripled, and from Godson 2B to Godson 2C, from Godson 2C to Godson 2E, the capability has continuously tripled.
There is one more interesting fact about this chips, they are MIPS -like which attracts after itself the fact that products based on it are incapable of running M$ Windows. I said MIPS-like, because actually they are not called MIPS, they are a completely independent, proprietary core implementation.
Let's sum up a bit: For 5 years the Chinese are developing microprocessors, now being at the rough equivalent of Intel P4@1.3 GHz, but on pure 64 bit. They develop MIPS like CPUs, thus relying on Linux or other Unix like Operating Systems, which they already have (I just mentioned two better known variants, but there are many more). The mini computers built around this architecture now cost around 200$ a piece, but once in mass production I expect the prices to be a bit lower.
What's next?

Friday 12 January 2007

a release?

Hi people! I think everyone wants a release, and many have asked for one. but I wonder what shall be on our first release... and a first release of what.

a release of what? there another question comes to my mind... what are we (as product)? and I see four things.
  1. a framework and set of tools
  2. a package database
  3. a bunch of distributions (targets) powered by OpenSDE
  4. a book!
I see on each of these parts of the OpenSDE project a different goal, a different definition for stabilization and even different people behind. That's why I have been promoting their independence.

Independence of the framework

To me the framework is the engine which makes OpenSDE move, the functionality, the architectures and building generic knowledge, the tools and helpers which make the project possible... and huge place for improvements. And a very sensitive field when it comes to the usability of OpenSDE itself.

Independence of the package database

It may sound weird but if you look at our development model what traditionally has defined our stability is the stability of the package database, keeping it up to date, increasing the amount of supported packages, been more clever on integrating them without affecting the flexibility needed by the targets and minimizing the amount of broken packages.

The package database expects some functionality (API?) on the framework but it's not really bind to how that framework is implemented, the package database is just information, patches and a few specific tricks. and it's very easy to break with one innocent update.

Independence of the powered-by distributions

The distributions on the other hand have a different kind of users, the final users, those which don't need to know about OpenSDE, and their developers are the users of the framework and the package database, what defines stability here is (imho) on a different universe than what defines stability on the previous two.

In their case I think we have to move every (except the generic) target into their own repository (or sub-repository) giving them their own trac and space for their own website or mailing list (http://$ or even helping people to keep those related projects under their own domain), and having a directory where everyone can choose which targets to link (svn:external) on their working copy. I would like to see these powered-by distributions making their own releases powered by certain version of the package database and certain version of the framework.

Independence of the documentation?

The documentation makes the framework and the package database accessible to the people, the documentation helps final system users know how to do thinks, the documentation is able to see the OpenSDE project as a whole. That's why we are working on a book, a handbook, trying to cover the different levels of OpenSDE, this book also has a different definition for stability and different reasons to make a tag, a branch or announce a release.

So... what do we want to release? what shall be there? do we grant the independence or bundle? how much can we split? how much would be sane to split? should we focus on what makes us equal or on what makes us different? what should we postpone to be able to achieve a release of something else?

what do you think?

Sunday 7 January 2007

who owns development?

I have had a lot of times discussions with people from developing countries receiving donations, aid etc. and on my question: Do you own your development? mostly nobody answered with : yes.
May free software and open hardware be an opportunity to have positive answer on that question?


The OpenSDE Handbook

The hard drive with the most recent copy of the book is broken :(. That'll teach me not to commit frequently. The point of this post is:

What do you want included in the book?

new usage

PKG and SDE usage

Hi there!
There is a proposal on a new usage for the existing wrapper sde and a new wrapper pkg. The idea is to seperate the commands to make it easier for the end user by reducing the command usage clutter. The pkg proposed for the end user, and the sde command is proposed for who ever is building with OpenSDE or maintaining it.

What do you think?

Saturday 6 January 2007


Hi! let me introduce you the blog of the OpenSDE community. sweet, isn't it? ,-) Here every member of the OpenSDE community will be able to write about anything they want. From cooking receipts to the nightmare they are having with certain architecture or package, new targets, ... pictures from the last "dev-meeting" or the new hardware someone got.

Enjoy it! ... and Read The F* Blog ,-)